Lyme Regis Mackerel Festival

Mackerel are the star of the show in Lyme Regis this month

Mackerel are the star of the show in Lyme Regis this month - Credit: Archant

The plump mackerel of Lyme Bay are the stars of the Lyme Regis Mackerel Festival which takes place from 4–11 July.

Championed by local celebrity chef and mackerel fan Mark Hix, this year’s event kicks off at the Marine Theatre (4 July) with a discussion on sustainable fishing with chefs Mitch Tonks (Rock Fish), Mark Hix and Gill Mellor (River Cottage). This is followed by a three-course Mackerel Feast, sponsored by West Country Catch, and prepared by Mark and the HIX Oyster and Fish House team. Tickets (£25) from HIX Oyster and Fish House, By the Bay, The Mariner’s Hotel or Tourist Information Centre. Money raised will go towards the Marine Theatre roof and the Fishermen’s Mission.

There will also be free mackerel cookery demos at the Marine Parade Shelters during the festival, including a Mackerel Cook Off on Saturday 5 July from 12.30pm between Mark Hix and his head chef Lin Pidsley. Then, from 2pm onwards, the finalists for the Best Mackerel Recipe competition will create their fishy dish for a panel of hungry judges. Finally, if you’re partial to a bit of smoked fish, don’t miss Mark’s fascinating and informative talk on Tuesday 8 July at 1pm about home smoking and curing fish.

In addition, Lyme Bay mackerel will feature on menus around town throughout the week’s celebrations, with donations from the dishes sold going to the Lyme Regis Lifeboat.

For more details visit


Other Food Festivals in Dorset in July

5-6 July: National Trust Food & Drink Festival - Some of the finest locally produced food and drink in the area are showcased at Corfe Castle. (

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19 July: Leigh Food Festival - Taste and buy some of the best local food and drink in the village hall then admire the vintage and classic car and bike display. (

20 July: Church Knowle Food Fayre - Celebrate and taste the exceptional food and drink from the Isle of Purbeck. This year they have teamed up with Wild Purbeck to focus on Dorset venison – from venison burgers and pies to pasties and pâté. Follow on Twiter @ChurchKnowleFF for the latest news.